September 12, 2010

Los Falcones - My First Digital Story

Well, I know that I have been really absent from my blog lately but it's for a good reason! I've finished my dissertation and have started a new collaborative diablog on feminist pedagogy with my good friend SLP called "It's Diablogical! A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy." Check it out! It's a great new project I've been a part of!

Also, I am defending my dissertation tomorrow. I am a little scared but I'm sure it will go fine. I'm posting my digital story that I will share in the open part of my defense. Please check it out around 9:30am and you can pretend that you're there with me.

I promise to be back on food blogging sooner than later. A and I are officially making the move to Fargo! So, I'll be in a new kitchen but will have some innovative ways to talk about the food as I play around with using final cut to edit some pictures and/or video together for my food blog posts!

July 03, 2010

Happy Fourth of JULY!

Yes, that's totally how my mama says it, total emphasis on the JULY as opposed to the usual emphasis being on the fourth. I spoke with my mama today to get her recipe (which she aptly titled Grandma's famous baked beans - you can surmise which grandma that comes from) for my fourth of JULY festivities tomorrow. It's not the holiday that holds importance per say, but it's more like the fun times and special place in my heart I have for the fourth of JULY because of my mom's love of it. Every year when I was younger, my mama would pop about four rounds of popcorn, salt it and put into a brown paper bag that she would staple up for the trip to Kirtland Air Force Base. As we traveled in our red Ford Aerostar van, we would go through security to find our patch of grass, lay our blanket and watch the fireworks, eagerly snapping the staples off that brown paper bag and digging into to the best popcorn that only my mama can make.

Fast-forward to my older years, joined by my two younger sisters by this point, the C-Family Fourth of JULY extravaganza became a family tradition. Let's be real, I love my country, but not blindly - it's the love of a place that has the potential to be so great, but has been proven over and over not to quite live up to its potential ya know? Anyways, when I was older we would often host our own firework shows in the comfort of our own home, either with sparklers on the back patio, or the full blown rate your favorite firework program orchestrated by my dad. So, all this is to say that I love the fourth of JULY because of my mama and the warm feelings I get inside when I celebrate it in my own way every year. Last year, I had an awesome 4th with A's mom and step-dad in the lovely Moorhead. Perhaps next year we'll be there over the holiday, but as for now, A and I are celebrating in the comfort of our Minneapolis home. Trying to sooth Sandie who gets so jumpy with those firecracker noises. I'll be making turkey burgers, corn on the cob, and the aforementioned baked beans tomorrow for dinner along with some delicious summer cakes.

As I've already posted the turkey burger recipe on here, I've decided to post the meal I made this evening instead. It's a variation on a recipe in my Maryana Vollstedt's "Easy Suppers" cookbook and I am a huge fan of a single pot meal. I prepped my veggies ahead of time and it was super quick to throw together. The worst part was waiting for it to bake in the oven for 50 minutes, so I gave A a pickle as an appetizer and she was able to hold out. This meal got a 5 (A's rating scale - meaning I received top marks) and I suspect that this will be a recurring meal for us as it was so easy and very filling yet nutritious.

So - without further ado - my own take on my Mexican-Inspired Chicken and Arroz (as adapted from "Mexican Chicken" recipe in "The Big Book of Easy Suppers.") Click for recipe print out.

I started by browning some chicken breasts in my Staub dutch oven about five minutes on each side until they were browned, in about a tablespoon of olive oil. This was already my first deviation from the recipe's suggestion, it called for 6 boned and skinned chicken thighs, which may have been more economical, but A doesn't really love the dark meat as much as I do, plus, we all know that the white meat is better for you yada yada yada. I removed the chicken after browning to a plate and in my same pot began sautéing my vegetables.

At this point, I had already deviated again from the recipe, I guess I'm a troublemaker like that, but I was not about to add an entire can of tomatoes and then salsa to the recipe because the entire thing would taste like a giant tomato and since I don't really have any salsa I love (besides my own - but clearly I do not have time to be whipping that up at this exact moment) I used one large jalapeño instead and sauteed it with the other veggies - that being one small yellow onion, and half a green bell pepper, along with three cloves of minced garlic. As I mentioned before, during my awfully productive day today I chopped these veggies already after whipping up some jalapeño, cheese cornbread to go along with my main dish here (see final picture) which made making the dish really quick and easy.

After the veggies were softened and cooked for about five minutes I added in 3/4 cup of long grain white rice to the mix. It was about this time that the animals came to investigate and A started saying "I'm hungry!" Which resulted in the pickle appetizers.

Exhibit A

And, Exhibit B

Or maybe that's Thing 1 and Thing 2 - I digress. Quickly after adding the rice, I added one can of diced tomatoes, 1 and 1/4 cup of chicken broth (a 1/4 cup more than recommended since I didn't have the moisture of the salsa I put some more in and also kept the remaining half of my can to moisten my rice and chicken 3/4 of the way through cooking it). I also added 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and salt (each) and allowed the flavors to marinate and cook for 2 minutes.

After combining all the ingredients I put my chicken back in and tried to bury it under the rice and veggies to allow it to retain as much of the liquid around it as possible.

So, I threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for right around 50 minutes. When it was at the 40 minute mark I opened it up and flipped my chickens as well as added about 1/4 cup more of chicken broth to avoid scorching the rice and then allowed it to finish up in the oven. When I took it out it looked like this! How yummy, the smells were divine, but it retained so much heat it was hard for us to dig into!

I totally chuckled when I pulled this out of the oven and the main three colors I saw were red, white, and green, not to be confused with this nation's flag colors, but the flag of la raza. I found this to be a perfectly fitting day-before-the-fourth-of-July meal.

Well, at least I put it in a blue bowl right? Now, off to clean that kitchen and get it ready for all of tomorrow's festivities. Our friend N is coming over for dinner and fun, so it will be a busy day of cleaning and cooking. But it will be worth it, as many of you know, familia is something that is really important to me, and so even though I'm not with my mama, my dad and my siblings, or even A's mom and step dad, to be with my little family of A and Sandie and JoJo and N brings a smile to my heart. Happy Fourth of JULY everyone, now go light something on fire.

March 03, 2010

Writing a dissertation is hard OR Why I really appreciate my crock pot

So, if I have any readers left after a month long retreat from my blog I want to assure you, of two things: one, I am actually still eating and/or trying to feed A, Sandie and JoJo and two, I've missed my blog terribly. Part of the reason I created this blog was to try to provide some stress relief for myself not to mention, as a distraction from the sheer panic that writing a dissertation can do to a person. Cooking and eating have truly become a refuge from the overwhelming stress - and this blog has been instrumental in helping me when the other writing becomes too much to handle. There are few things in my life up to this point that I can honestly say have been truly difficult, and writing a dissertation is currently topping the list. If it's not the solitude and the doubts that what you are creating is any good, the panic of looming deadlines and a total lack of funding and job security for next year will get you. And so, as my lighthouse in the storm I go to one of my go-to meals in our home, pulled pork barbeque sandwiches. The beauty of this is that you can get it ready in the morning and after a entire eight hours of writing a complete organizational nightmare of a chapter you can rest your weary eyes and refuel with a meal that can be left in the crockpot and doesn't need your attention for the rest of the day. I also enjoy the beauty of the pulled pork because you can use a variety of ingredients and still achieve a deliciously tender meaty meal that also serves as leftovers for your next day of dissertation writing. 

The cast of characters includes a crock pot (although to be honest sometimes I am too lazy to go down to the basement to retrieve it and if I am going to be home I also cook my meat on a low temp in the oven in my Staub), and some seasonings to adorn your meat. Some people like to sear the meat to lock in the flavor and really create a crispy crust on the outside. I have found if you're going to pour barbeque sauce over it you don't really need this step. If you're going to be fancy and just let the seasonings guide your way then sear each side of your pork shoulder before putting it in the crock pot to simmer. 

I always start with rinsing my meat and patting it dry. I put it on a cooking sheet to keep it contained. Also because I do a bit of a dry rub on it this helps keep the spices from flying all over the place.

I first applied a layer of olive oil and then generously salted the pork. Then you can use whichever spices you wish to flavor it. I used cayenne pepper, and garlic powder along with black pepper. Rub it on all sides, this is oddly therapeutic and also gets me in the zone for writing. At this point I like to say a little thank you to the animal that gave its life so that we could have nourishment. When you're rubbing a pork shoulder or any other large piece of meat I find it's pretty difficult to detach yourself from the fact that an animal was killed so that you can eat. Deep but true.

After applying your oil and spice rub place it into your crockpot. This is my favorite part, add a beverage to ensure that your pork stays moist throughout the eight hour cooking time. This time I used a miniature can of Coke but I also sometimes add about half a bottle of beer. I use whatever I have on hand, I've also been known to use a root beer if I have it in my fridge. Generally the flavor of the liquid is not really imparted into the meat, it really just acts as an agent to keep the meat moist over the long cooking period. Rest assured (besides the generous amount of barbeque sauce that I added at the end) the meat did not taste sweet despite the addition of a sugary sweet Coke. This picture is making me want a Coke in a real bad way though!

At this point you can also be creative with what you have in your kitchen to throw into the crock pot. I have placed onions and garlic cloves floating in the liquid to add a depth of flavor to my meat, I have also been known to add in a chopped jalapeño or two as well. Be creative and see what can happen with the flavor, the beauty of the crockpot is that the flavors will slowly infuse into the meat much like a marinade but they don't tend to be overwhelming. I am not sure the science behind this but I promise you can throw a few different things in here to experiment with as you make this.

So, after six to eight hours or until your pork reaches the appropriate temperature measured by your meat thermometer it will probably look something like this. Don't be alarmed, this is normal, and slightly unattractive. Although, it's a lot tastier than it looks I promise!

Potatoes are also a great go to item if you're busy writing for the day. I've found these little starchy gems to be good for writing in between their start and finish time. Mashed potatoes need to be boiled (and for some reason it takes forever for water to boil on my stove) baked potatoes take about an hour in the oven to cook, so potatoes provide plenty of opportunities for writing in the cooking process. These are the types of foods that I have really been reaching out for lately. Such as, bread, you can be amazed how motivated you can be to write in between the time you put your loaf in the oven to bake and when that timer buzzes. It's a great game to play with yourself to see if you can make it further than the night before!

For this meal I thought I could use some left over yukon gold potatoes I had laying around. At some point I really want to do a blog post on potatoes, when I was growing up I only knew of one kind of potato, Russet - that was it! I know this is specific marker of class that I am really excited to explore at some point, but today I made yellow golds because now that I'm an "enlightened" grad student I know about the diversity of potatoes ha! Anyways, I decided to make the Pioneer Woman's crash hots because they are really delicious and because you pretty much can't mess them up and because they go great with barbeque. It's like having your own little self contained (much healthier for you) potato salad to accompany your sandwich! But, you need to use small potatoes (reds, new, multi or yukon gold) for this. I halved them and boiled them for a few minutes to soften them up. They go into the oven and cook a while so you don't want to boil them until they start mushing in your pot.

Meanwhile, make sure you take your meat out and let it start to cool for at least twenty to thirty minutes. Believe me, you do not want to pull hot pork, it burns!

After boiling your potatoes for about ten to fifteen minutes (until just tender) lay them out on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them and salt and pepper them.

Then, taking a fork or a potato masher gently press down on your potato half until is smashes but trying to keep it's skin attached to its insides enough. This is turning out to be a very graphic description of the food today, sorry about that! But you want to kind of keep it so you can just scoop them off of the pan after you bake them in the oven. I think I baked these on 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes while my pork was cooling. You want to bake them until their tops are crispy and golden brown.

Meanwhile it's time to start pulling that pork. Some people use forks, I just use my clean brown hands. A deserves the photo credit for these next shots. She was in charge of documenting these steps because when you're pulling pork with your hands it's a pretty messy endeavor, obvi.

About this time the animals will start to flock to you. Sandie's little ears perk up as soon as the first pull of the pork happens and she comes running.

This is what your pulled pork will begin to look like as you continue shredding it. It should be easy to do and oddly satisfying.

And then your demon cat JoJo will come around the corner and want some meat too!

Toast your buns in some butter. I put A in charge of this part which is why there is a little puddle of butter accumulating in the corner of my lodge pan.

Toss your pulled pork with your sauce of choice. I really want to make my own barbeque sauce one day. Perhaps this will be my reward for finishing my dissertation. I don't have the time to experiment with barbeque sauce making techniques right now, honestly I only have a limited time to be in my kitchen these days and even less time to think about creative stories to accompany my recipes. But it is all worth it in the end, because A told me this was one of her most favorite meals. And this meal is pretty inexpensive - the fairy chef would be proud! Thanks for hanging with me despite my infrequent postings. I will try to be better but I can't really promise that I'll be back every other day. I am trying to defend my dissertation in three months - I don't know if it's possible, but in order for that to happen it means I unfortunately don't have much time to eat, sleep, or write anything besides my dissertation. But I'll try to be back, I know my readers miss me. Make this pulled pork and think of me...

December 06, 2009

Holidays, Traditions and Familia

Well, it's been an incredibly long time since I've posted to my blog and I must apologize for that. This past month has been quite a busy turn of events. I must say however that A and I have been eating so I hope that assuages any of your fears that we might not have been since I wasn't posting to my bloga. I've missed this space, I've tried to mimic the color of my blog to match the feelings I have when I'm in my kitchen and just like the pleasures of home I too need to feel connected to this writing space. Since my last post I've applied to ten jobs and sent a chapter off to my advisor for review so perhaps a little break, though sad, was necessary.

The holiday season (which I acknowledge as starting around Thanksgiving and running through New Year) is a special time. Ever since I moved away from Albuquerque to go to college in Kansas and then onto graduate school in Minnesota, Thanksgiving and Christmas meant spending time with my familia. I know that as a lesbiana family means many things, it means the ones who birthed, love and care for you, your blood kin and it means the family that you choose to make. And this year while sad that I was unable to be with those who I am proud to have shared blood running through our veins I was able to fully enjoy my own family including A and Sandie and JoJo. I also had a chance to cook my very own first turkey and enjoy the three-day-long preparations involved with putting together a feast of this magnitude.

As a Chicana, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is about remembering the importance of reclaiming and acknowledging histories that are often silenced. For me, it is about remembering losses and confronting US colonialism alongside honoring familia. I like to think about the ways that participating in an event across the nation can one day move us to a place where those of us who voice our opinions about the tradition of Thanks-taking are no longer the minority, rather the norm who acknowledge the pains of our past as a nation and create meaningful dialogues on healing wounds and ensuring these cycles of violence do not continue both within and beyond the US national context. In that way, the meal is important to me, knowing that how a single day can be defined by a meal in such concrete ways so that I know that my neighbor down the street is probably enjoying just about the same meal as I, myself am. Not to elide the very real class disparities that exist in this country, but I am struck by the possibilities of many people sharing in the same meal in many places. I know many have such different connections and/or problems with this "holiday", for me it is but another of many of the contradictions that lie within my soul.

I promise to get back to providing some recipes alongside my thoughts about cooking in the very near future, my life has been so full lately that new recipes have been put on the back burner (pun intended) and I have been rolling with many staples. In fact, all of my Thanksgiving items were completely standard fare, a foil-wrapped turkey slathered in butter, just like my mama does it, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls and a pumpkin pie, so I don't have any exciting recipes to report back. Also, this meal preparation happened within application and writing deadlines so my documentation of the recipes was unfortunately not a top priority, maybe next year if we host the meal at our place, I'll try to attend to these details a bit better. However, I would like to share some pictures of the big event, because as I mentioned, changing history also means the proper documentation of of stories, so here's mine in pictures.

Of course, the picture A takes of me I'm doing the mundane chore of chopping up potatoes to be boiled.

Sandie trying to find some pre-dinner morsels on my immaculate kitchen floor.

My first turkey, notice how the skin on the right side totally got stuck to the foil, oh well, learned a valuable lesson, when mama says tuck foil around edge of bird she doesn't mean the breast.

An amazing meal on an amazingly sunny November in Minnesota.

A- My amazing partner, so glad that she is part of my ever-expanding familia.

J- My wonderful cousin who was able to spend time with us, enjoy a meal with us and take a nap on the couch following the main event. Followed by, a new tradition - watching Elf and enjoying pumpkin pie.

Sandie wondering if she can have some more turkey.

More recipes are on their way, I'm very much looking forward to doing some major baking in the near future, nothing like Christmas to make you want to gorge yourself on sweets and candies, oh wait, that's every day for me, now I just have an excuse for my behavior!

October 29, 2009

Halloween, día de los muertos and Loved Ones

As a young girl in Albuquerque, New Mexico I have always had vivid memories of Halloween. I love pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and I remember the excitement of carving a pumpkin with my father. My brother and I would get to pick out our pumpkin in the giant cardboard bins outside of the grocery store. I seem to recall always being drawn to tall, skinny ones, the ones that seemed like they might not have been the first choice because they weren't perfectly symmetrical and round. The color was also really important to me, I wanted to find the pumpkins that had different shades of orange within it. What can I say, I was attracted to oddly-shaped pumpkins and had a tendency to anthropomorphize them (but I mean, come on, once you put a face on something how can you not?) When we got home, mom would lay down yesterday's newspaper down on the big oak table and my brother and I would draw our faces for our pumpkins out on paper and then onto the pumpkin. Dad would pop off the top and we would get to reach our hands inside the pumpkin to pull out it's insides. Then he would carve our faces in it. We'd light a candle inside of them, pop the top back on tilted so if something started burning our new pumpkin friends wouldn't ignite into an orange blaze. My mom and I would then toast the pumpkin seeds in the oven with some salt which is the featured recipe for today's post. As my sisters grew up, I took over the drawing and carving piece, as my dad became much more busy at work, and apparently I was steady-handed enough to wield our one large knife. This hasn't changed much in my older years except now my love draws the face and I carve it out. My only insistence for this one was that it have a happy face, and for some reason I also really feel the need to incorporate a gap tooth in my pumpkins so ta da!   

A and I usually do the carving together every Halloween but this year I was home alone carving our pumpkin because she was at a work event and I am leaving tomorrow for Kansas for my Auntie's funeral. My Aunt Cynthia Perez Falcon passed away at the young age of 51 years old. She leaves behind a daughter, my cousin who just started taking college classes this semester and a son who is a sophomore in high school. This summer while I was doing research with my familia, I collected her oral history. I was struck by how much she balanced reflection on her past with what was in her future plans. At the time a mere two months ago, I never knew just how precious my request for her oral history would be. As I prepare for a trip down to Topeka, Kansas to pay my respects I've been thinking a lot about what I can pull from her own words as a way to honor her memory. I have become the keeper of these stories and I have the responsibility to share these words with her family. I know she would have wanted this from me. Forgive me for trying to work out some of the things I want to say about her here in my bloga. I think it is relevant as I have increasingly moved away from Halloween as the only holiday I celebrate into incorporating spiritual practices from día de los muertos. My Tía will be laid to rest on Saturday the 31st, and even though día de los muertos follows it directly where we honor our antepasados the 31st will forever remind me of my Tia's generosity, grace, love and joy in the world. She was an amazing woman, a friend and confidant, she would come and visit me while I was at college and even though we didn't get to see each other as often as I would have liked, every time we got together it was a comfortable meeting of two women. I will miss those comfortable times, my friend and my Tía, en paz descanses. 

Now back to anthropormorphizing my pumpkin, after I ripped out her guts, I rinsed and dried my pumpkin seeds, this is from that big pumpkin! There is something to be said about the smell of a fresh pumpkin, there's nothing like it and carving one just brought back so many memories for me. 

I separated my seeds into two bowls and had decided that I would use two different flavor profiles for my seeds. As you all know, spicy is my forte so I flavored one half of my seeds with some green chile powder from the Santa Fe Cooking School that the Lone Baker bought me and the other half with cayenne pepper. Yum Yum Yum. 

Dress your seeds with about one half tablespoon of olive oil and salt them to taste and toss them to coat. Then add your other flavoring, of course this is to taste, as the more you use, the spicier it will be. 

Lay out your deliciously coated seeds on a baking sheet as a single layer into a pre-heated oven set to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Enjoy some warm right out of the oven and to snack on throughout your Halloween or día de los muertos festivities with your loved ones.  

October 15, 2009

New Mexican Green Chile Stew

New Mexican Green Chile Stew (Adapted from Bueno Chile Recipe)

I must preface this entry with an apology to my Minnesota fans, this might be a bit more difficult to recreate, as I am using some green chile that was literally frozen and then overnighted by my mama. I will say that I am going to try to recreate this with some other chiles and see how it goes, maybe with some roasted poblano chiles and some beef broth to add some liquid? Who knows, but to my New Mexican followers, this will seem to be a perfect reminder of the simplicity of ingredients and the deliciousness that is freshly roasted Bueno green chile and beef combining into a spicy stew.

My hermanita KRC was in town visiting A and me over her fall break of her freshman year of college at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. My mama had called a few days before to let me know that KRC was missing the (hot air) balloon fiesta that Albuquerque hosts every October and green chile. She said she couldn't do anything about the balloons, but she could do something about the chile, so she overnighted me some fresh roasted green chile that my dad buys and freezes, a container of Bueno green chile to make a beef stew and two packages of Frontier flour tortillas. It was like heaven when it arrived on my doorstep a few days later and I of course had to test the tortillas to make sure they had weathered the journey ok. Once KRC arrived I used the fresh roasted to spice up breakfast burritos (to which my sister said, "this is better than the Frontier's breakfast burritos" and while they were good I am not sure they really surpassed the quality of the Frontier, but I try. The next day I prepared a green chile stew like my dad does by following the instructions on the side of the Bueno canister.

You basically need three key ingredients and the other ones can be added for extra flavor or not. These main ingredients are potatoes, bueno green chile and beef (stew meat). Since I had some smaller red potatoes left over from the week before I decided to use these, and honestly preferred them over the Russet browns. (Sorry if this seems superflous but I get so annoyed when the recipe doesn't tell you what kind of potato to use!) In your pot heat 1 Tablespoon of canola oil.

Then throw in your stew meat to brown for about four minutes. Turn periodically to ensure every side becomes brown. I like my stews a bit heartier so I added about one full pound of beef while the bueno recipe only calls for one half pound.

While your meat is browning chop up your 3 small potatoes into bite size chunks/cubed. While the meat was browning my sister was napping on the couch and A was playing video games online. It was such a nice time with my family, I don't know what it is about soups and stews or a pot of beans but it really just inspires reflection on how lucky we are all to have familia to love us and provide support right at the most important times. My sister's visit couldn't have been better for me in terms of reassessing priorities and remembering that life is about living (as opposed to working so hard in the attempt to live at one day in the far off future). And so, while I browned my meat and cut my potatoes I thanked the heavens for my familia, green chile and chilly fall afternoons.

I then added in my potatoes and browned for four more minutes and stirring occasionally. In between stirs I totally would peek out to the living room and see my wonderful family enjoying their lives in our one weekend where are lives could continue to intertwine. KRC's head was on the arm of the couch as she quietly slept, totally wore out from our night at the MN Rollergirls' Derby the night before, and my A was cute as always, saying things like her usual, "it smells SO good." That really warms my heart. I'm also thankful that I created this blog and now the memory will stay with all of us in the event that we forget these wonderful times.

The smells of beef and potatoes totally lured my kitchen assistant in to check out the action. Here she is looking a bit wonky eyed, but I'm going to say that's because of the cool lighting that I caught as the afternoon sun actually peeked in our window that day! How artistic no?

Poor thing didn't even get anything out of that except maybe some minced garlic that went flying onto the floor (as I minced). I used four cloves of garlic (when the recipe calls for only 2) what can I say, I love garlic. Throw that in and get ready for the main event, the chile simmer.

Now, for those of you who are not from New Mexico and/or have never seen green chile, this is what it looks like when you buy it chopped. Notice this is quite different than say, getting it in those miniature cans. This actually has some heat to it, you can tell it was roasted before put into the container, and it's been marinating in it's own juices. Also, probably because of the processes behind canning or something, this is much more flavorful and full of liquid. When I popped the lid off of this I almost cried. Now, if any of my fans are rich you can have your very own Bueno green chile mailed to you for the cheap price of $27.99 for the actual container (WOAH! seems a bit pricey, but it's actually for six containers) and $50 shipping, (again, WOAH!) I'm not sure how much it cost my mom to overnight this to me, but the take home message is, if you're in NM, stock up and bring home if you can (via car - you might have some issues in security with this).

Pour this deliciousness into your pot, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and give a quick stir. Allow to bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 20 minutes and then you're ready to eat the best spicy stew you'll ever taste. In fact, it is this stew that I feel has ruined my taste for any other stews that are not spicy. Bland stews forget about it!

Serve with two warm tortillas that you heated on your stove. Don't even think about microwaving these, please it hurts me when people do that. Take the extra minute to heat your skillet, it will be worth it I promise. Cozy up with your familia and share some laughs about the crazy times you had the day before, most of all be thankful that you know the deliciousness of green chile. This entry is for my mama, who is the best mama in the whole wide world. I love you. And for my hermanitas (KRC and KMC) for being the best hermanitas ever. I'm so glad all of you are in my life.